Patricia N. from ANTIOCH, CA Reviewed on 11/3/2006...
I prefer Miles Davis on Trumpet - but did enjoy Chet's vocals...
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Chet Baker 101
jazzgirl | 12/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listen to the samples. You might like Miles Davis better as a trumpet player, or you might think Baker's voice was too mellow. But maybe, you'll appreciate his straightforward style. Give it a chance."
It's a Swoon
jazzgirl | key west | 08/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From baby faced pop boy to ravaged beat man, Chet played a heartfelt trumpet like no other. His sweet vocals were heartbreaking and sound true today. No wonder he comes round every few years for a newer generation to discover.This CD has a great mix with some stellar players like Stan Getz,Gerry Mulligan,Kenny Burrell and Chico Hamilton.Blue Note brings us another classic."
OK, But Too Many Vocals For My Taste
J H Murphy | Agoura, California USA | 02/11/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Amazon product description misses many of the high points of this CD. It covers Chet Baker's recordings from 1952, shortly after he gained prominence with Charley Parker, up to 1983.
I acquired this because of Chet Baker's association with Gerry Mulligan, one of my favorites. I found it a mixed bag overall. First, seven tracks are vocals, not my cup of tea. I'll leave it to others to rate them.
I found the instrumental pieces generally slow and placid - good background music. My two favorites were the first and last cuts. One big disappointment was that the numerous top sidemen did not get a chance to solo very much.
Charley Parker is quoted as saying to Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie "There's a little white cat out here [in L.A.] who's going to give you guys a lot of trouble." That didn't turn out to be the case -- Baker's smooth playing style didn't have the sharp edge that made Miles Davis, well, Miles Davis. But if you like less frenetic jazz, this is worth a look.
The pieces I'd like to rate are:
1. Freeway - Instrumental - Uptempo piece with Gerry Mulligan, possibly the best straight trumpet playing on the CD. 2. Happy Little Sunbeam - Instrumental - Perky and pleasant. 5. Little Man You've Had A Busy Day - Instrumental - Good interplay with Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone. 7. Lush Life - Starts with a looong piano solo by Baker's long-time accompianist Russ Freeman. This cut also includes Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Shelley Manne on drums, but they are almost just window dressing on this slow-tempo piece. 9. Think Beautiful - Chet switches to flugelhorn on this instrumental. 13. Stella By Starlight - Straight-ahead jazz with Stan Getz - live recording but better sound than many.
The liner notes by Doug Ramsey are better than average. And the recording quality, while variable, is better than a lot of contemporary albums.
Note that all of these pieces have appeared on other albums, notably the "Gerry Mulligan Quartet" and "The Stockholm Concerts" headlining Stan Getz.
Overall, not my favorite CD, but not the worst I've ever bought. Three stars."